Chameleon Logo

Hey There!

Welcome to The Chameleon. We document our adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

Toki Pona by Julia Gwioździk

Toki Pona by Julia Gwioździk

Toki Pona is the shortest language in the world, literally translating to “the good language.” If you’re looking for an easy way to bilingualism, this is the language for you! It only has 123 words, a couple of thousands of speakers, and an easy pronunciation, similar to English.


It is based on the Taoist philosophy, and it strives to maximize expression with minimal vocabulary. Toki Pona is meant to make us think about how linguistic structures can shape our outlook on life because the speaker has to think about the purpose of an object rather than just saying its name. The language doesn’t have a word for a fork, instead you would call it moku ilo, which translates to an eating tool. Many words have multiple meanings, which makes it very entertaining to use both in a conversation and in written form. For example, the word kili can mean a vegetable, a fruit, or a mushroom. Toki Pona only has three numbers: wan, tu, luka (one, two, five), and several. To say seven, we would have to say luka tu, which, if you know French, shouldn’t be that strange to you. There are only five colors: pimeja (black), walo (white), loje (red), jelo (yellow), and laso (blue). To say green, you would say laso jelo (yellowish blue), as if you were mixing paint instead of speaking.



Here are some basic words in Toki Pona for you to try:


pona - good

olin - to love, have compassion for, respect, show affection

kili - fruit, vegetable, mushroom

lili - little, small, short, few, young

suli - big, tall, heavy, large, long, important

jaki - disgusting, toxic, unclean

jan - human being, person


The Arts in Shanghai by Justin Smith-Hoopes

The Arts in Shanghai by Justin Smith-Hoopes

Refugee Poem by Zara Garcha

Refugee Poem by Zara Garcha